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Are You Practicing Webcam Security?

A Member of Parliament representing Pontiac in Quebec, Canada was caught on camera completely nude during a virtual House of Commons conference.

A screenshot showed the MP standing behind a desk between the Quebec and Canadian flags without any clothing on. An object in his hands was hiding his private parts.

The MP sent out a statement that read, "This was an unfortunate error." He went on to say that his camera was accidentally turned on while he was changing from his workout clothes into his work clothes following a jog. He apologized to his colleagues and stated that it was an honest mistake that would not happen again.

The party whip raised the incident to a point of order, saying that parliamentary decorum requires male MPs to wear a jacket and tie—as well as shirt, underwear, and trousers. She further reminded members of Parliament to be vigilant when they are near a camera or microphone.

Only MPs and staffers saw the nude MP on the internet video conference feed. Because he was not speaking, his video did not show up on the public feed.

The party whip stated that he was satisfied with the MP'S explanation and did not believe there was any ill intent. He added, "This is a warning to everybody. You've got to really always assume that camera is on and be very careful any time you wander anywhere near that camera that you're dressed appropriately." Catherine Levesque and Joan Bryden "'AN HONEST MISTAKE': Liberal MP William Amos apologizes after appearing stark naked during video conference" torontosun.com (Apr. 14, 2021).

Commentary

To protect yourself from an embarrassing or even more serious situation of identity theft, blackmail, or sextortion from hackers, always assume that your camera could be recording you.

Keep devices with cameras out of bathrooms, bedrooms, and other areas where you change clothes or engage in private activities. When not in use, either shut down your device or keep a cover - like a sticky note - over your webcam.

You must also remain vigilant when you are intentionally using your webcam. Hackers could be spying on your virtual conversations. Never share sensitive personal data or other confidential information over a webcam.

Keep in mind that the webcam light being off is not a guarantee that it is disabled. Cybercriminals can turn on webcams without showing signs that they are recording.

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